What comes to mind when one thinks of Switzerland?
– Blood Money – world’s haven for,
– “Neutralness” – has never fought a war in modern times,
– Beauty – it is God’s own country, with its mountains, meadows, valleys, lakes, trails…,
– Discipline – blessed with the works, punctuality, law and order, you name it,
– Technological supremacy – for example their watch-technology, or their advances in heavy mechanical engineering,
– Culinary supremacy – as in their chocolates, or for that matter their herbal know-how, superior quality of their milk, and of course, their cheese,
– Love for their country – the Swiss really look after their country, are loyal to it, and would probably die for it willingly.
Only the first factor has a negative sound.
Well, they do provide a safe-haven. I mean, look at all the other factors. People feel that their money’s safe in a swiss bank. You can’t blame a country for being a safe country.
Most of the world is not safe today. So, most of the world’s money flows to locations that are considered safe. A good percentage of the world’s money is blood money, but that’s how it is. When foreign funds flow into a country, a country doesn’t ask questions. Do we in India ask questions? No. For all we know, it is Mafia money flowing into our country, inflating our markets. Nobody cares as long as it is coming in.
When foreign funds flow into a country excessively, as is the case with Switzerland, such a country can dictate the interest-rate it pays out for such funds. For many, many decades, Swiss banks have been in demand because of the safe-haven quality of their country, and the interest-rate doled out is a pittance, something like 0.5 % or perhaps 1% per annum, something in that range. I could be making a mistake of an odd 1 % here or there, but, you see, people don’t store their money in Switzerland so that it accumulates to an even bigger amount. They store it there so that the principal stays safe. Switzerland doesn’t participate in wars. Thus, wealth is not destroyed. In fact, during wars elsewhere, fund-flow towards safe-havens heightens.
And that’s the game. Almost unlimited inflow, pittance of a payout, loan the money further on 6%, 7%, 8%, huge differential, year upon year, decade upon decade, humungous compounding, enough to spark-off, inculcate and fully support massive all-round development – couple this with all the other factors given above about Switzerland, and you have a hugely positive n-th loop. A hugely positive n-th loop is the exact opposite of a hugely negative vicious cycle. Switzerland sets the framework for the all-round blossoming of life, and the inflow provides lubrication and fuels development. After a while, they don’t depend upon the inflow anymore. In fact, the Swiss were probably self-sufficent even before the inflow began. That’s how they were able to provide a stable system. The inflow is just a bonus. Due to the power of its compounding, all the other diamond qualities of CH sparkle even more brightly.
Living in India, with its legacy of corrupt leaders who have siphoned off most of our wealth towards safe-havens, how should one react?
It is not the fault of the safe-haven. We need to evolve and make our own citizens feel comfortable with keeping their funds here. Our system needs to provide that safety.
Only then will the funds stay here. If our funds are not staying in our own country, it is our own fault.